Friday, October 7, 2011

Getting less Fat. Are you a Loh or a Brad?

  The stages of coming back into form and fitness for my good self generally are

1) Get moving on the bike, yes you're fat but don't worry about it

2) Get moving more, wow you're fat but damn this exercise makes you sooo hungry, surely I can eat lots and the weight will drop?

3) Maintain moving more, oh no, still fat! Dammit, now I have to eat less :cry:

 And so it goes. The ever revolving circle of weight gain, weight loss...

How different people manage their diets and their weight seem to be entirely personal. Some swear off fatty food forever, others prefer to have small amounts to keep their desires at bay whilst maintain a 24/7 strict control of their diet and others (like myself) adopt an all or nothing approach.

Last year in the Marco Polo team house we wear witness to an ideological stand off.

In the Blue Corner stood Marco Polo stalwart, my Malay/Chinese food mentor and lover off all things tasty Loh Sea Keong.

Mr Loh is Mr Happy

In the Red Corner, Asian racing veteran and anti-fat zealot Brad Hall

Brad and Jono, getting into Qinghai Shape

I first arrived in Geleen with hard established routines with my healthy eating in place. This was completmented by the strict low fat diet of Brad. To quote Brad from various times and places

"Oh no, I don't eat nuts, too much fat"
"Hmm no, deep fried, not for me"

 Frankly, I am jealous at his commitment and fortitude, it's really something to behold. His diet is pretty darn sensational, and what's what, it works for him. He does not do fat.

 But I was getting mixed messages.

 I would look across and see Loh with Red wine and a thick wedge of triple cream brie, and he would just smile and laugh;

 "It doesn't matter Jono! You worry too much, whatever makes you happy. I have wine, I have cheese, I have no depression!"

And it sure worked for Loh. He was in for the long haul, he knew how to manage long stints away from home. And he knew what he needed to keep himself going; small doses of the good stuff.

Loh chucking another steak on the barbie

In reflection, I now know I sit the fence between those two. It's all or nothing. I have a split personality, for half the year I am Loh, for half the year I am Brad. I can only get through each period of being Brad because I know the reward of being Loh is not too far around the corner.

Those in attendance at one recent and notably ferocious dumpling session saw Rhys Gillett put away more than a few plates of dumplings. These people bear witness to the success of the All or Nothing approach. He is one skinny MOFO.

All or Nothing, do tell more:
When the time is right, have a few drinks, have some of that tasty cake. Enjoy it. Go nuts. As long as you are aware that all these jolly festivities will have to be worked off. There is no creative Greek accounting here, Goldman Sachs aren't gonna help you hide that blubber off the balance sheet, it's there. You know it's there. You have been warned.

When it's time to get down to business then there's no more messing about, cut the crap, drop the alcohol, get used to being a bit peckish most of the time, and get pedalling. It works for me.

I have one weakness though. One thing that keeps my obsessive compulsive tendencies at bay more than any toenail picking sesh' or any knuckle crack. That's coffee.

What's that you ask, coffee's not unhealthy? What are you on about you nutjob?

Well, long story short, (and aside from delving deep into the positives or negatives of caffeine, although if you feel like bombarding my comments, go nuts...) I ween myself down off coffee coming into big races to maximise the caffeine kick I can utilise during races. Or, moreso, just to get rid of any withdrawals if for whatever reason (god help me) I can't get a coffee before a race.

What this means for me is it's damn hard to be battling the bulge AND dosing down off coffee at the same time. It's very hard.

Yeh Yeh, I hear you all say, tough the **** up.

But no. Stuff ya's all.

And yes it is worth the stress of managing the ebbs and flows of going up and down through BMI categories and various states of caffeine addiction. It's very much worth it. Because food is awesome. And coffee is even awesomer (Yes I did that)

I know what process works for me

Haidar, Loh, Brad, Jono all tucking in

The question is, what works for you?


  1. boy please... we all know:
    coffee = more riding = food = sleep = coffee

  2. I experimented with a weight loss diet where I replaced certain 'snack' meals with steamed vegitables. It came from an athlete specific food pyramid which at the base put 11 servings of fruit and vegitables (4 fruit, 7 veg.). Worked for me.

    Hard to do though when racing/training gets more intense.

  3. Love your blog Jono! Always a great read. LJ